Valley City State University mens basketball coach Jeff Kaminsky didn't have many problem's with his team's efforts trying to make up a large deficit in the second half of Wednesday's 74-65 home loss to Dickinson State University.
What bothered him was that his team trailed 38-20 at the end of the first half.
"We allowed a team that was basically playing a very saggy defense to dictate the tempo and slow us down," Kaminsky said. "We changed that in the second half, but it shouldn't take halftime to do that. That's what disappointed me.
"I thought our responded the right way in the second half but we just got oureslves in too big of a hole and just couldn't make that next big play we needed to make to really give ourselves a chance to win."
The cause of the early deficit wasn't easy to track on the stat sheet. In the first half, the Vikings came down with six offensive rebounds and had only three more turnovers than the Blue Hawks. The issue lied in shooting.
The Vikings only hit six shots from the field in the first half out of 27 attempts, which included 2-12 at the 3-point line. A.J. McDonald had nine points, but no other player had more than four.
On the opposite end of the court, Casper Hesseldal had 16 points, including a 6-8 shooting performance from the field in the half and one 3-pointer. His performance was complemented by play from Matthew Lee who had eight points in the half.
The Vikings got a good run started early in the second half behind a layup by John Raquel, six quick points by Sekani Milligen and a layup by Sylvester Walker. A 3-pointer by A.J. McDonald later narrowed the lead to eight points.
But eight points was all the wiggle room the Vikings got from Dickinson, which had an answer for every layup for 3-pointer put in by VCSU.
Kaminsky said he didn't mind that his team struggled early, he just would have preferred a smaller margin.
"We know we're capable of doing that," he said about trying to make up 18 points. "We did that against Jamestown, but we made shots whereas tonight we got a lot of good looks that we didn't make and when you're in that big of a hole, you have to relay on making a lot of plays. We just didn't get it done tonight."